Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bridging in Savannah With Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio

The Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Blog reports that when it came time to plan the bridging ceremony to mark their graduation from Cadettes to Seniors this year, Troop 799 knew they wanted to take a trip to Savannah, Georgia, to visit Girl Scouts' First Headquarters and see where Girl Scouting first began. What started as an historic field trip became a once-in-a-lifetime experience that would renew their commitment and change the way they looked at scouting forever.

The troop toured Juliette's birthplace, then took a class on how to be a proper lady in the 1800s. It was a fun and eye-opening experience. They donned hoop skirts and shawls and spent two hours learning basic society rules and etiquette.

The scouts quickly realized just how strict the rules of society had been. Conversation between men and women was often limited so they relied on more subtle ways of communication. If you were a single woman, you would sit with your palms in your lap facing upwards to let a potential suitor know that you were available. If you were married, you kept your palms down to show your jewelry and how well you had married.

On the day of their bridging ceremony, the troop visited the Girl Scout museum at First Headquarters where they learned more interesting facts about their Girl Scout Heritage. The troop gathered in the courtyard where Juliette had made her daily walk from her house to the headquarters. One by one, the girls were invited to come forward. Each was asked "Are you ready to follow in the footsteps of Juliette Gordon Low and step up to the challenges of being a Senior scout?" When they answered yes, they were invited to step up and through the door. There, their leaders pinned them with the special pin only girls who have visited First Headquarters are allowed to wear, gave them the Girl Scout handshake and welcomed them to Senior scouting.